Sexual Offences

Justice written question – answered on 5th September 2013.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research his Department has undertaken into any link between being a victim of sexual abuse and subsequent criminal convictions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Government takes the needs of victims of sexual abuse seriously. We have established the Sexual Violence against Children and Vulnerable People National Group (SVACV), led by the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, Home Department, my right hon. Friend Damian Green Damian Green, to co-ordinate and implement the learning from recent inquiries into historic sexual abuse and current sexual violence prevention issues.

The Department has not undertaken research specifically on the links between being a victim of sexual abuse and subsequent criminal convictions. However, the MOJ Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) study found that one year reoffending levels were higher for prisoners who had experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse as a child compared to those who had not (58% compared with 50%). These findings are not necessarily indicative of a causal link between being a victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse during childhood and subsequent criminal convictions.

The full paper on prisoners' childhood and family backgrounds is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/217401/prisoners-childhood-family-backgrounds.pdf

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